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Soybean Growers Association concerned about FCC decision and impact on precision farming

Times Report
Crookston Times

    Ag industry leaders, including American Soybean Association Director and Minnesota farmer Jim Kukowski, joined Rep. Collin Peterson and other House Agriculture Committee members last week to discuss an issue that they say threatens to derail precision agriculture, which Kukowski cites as one of the greatest technological advances on the farm in decades.

    Peterson, chair of the House Ag Comittee, and House Ag Committee Member Rep. Glenn “GT” Thompson (R-Pa.) participated in the discussion regarding the Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC) decision to allow Ligado Networks to operate a terrestrial wireless network and how it will threaten the reliability of GPS (Global Positioning Systems) receivers used in precision agriculture.

    Because growers rely upon precision technology so heavily, the prospect of GPS units not working is critical to every single soybean farmer, opponents of the FCC’s action say.

    “Our organization has been advocating for the soybean farmer for 100 years,” said Kukowski, a soy grower from Strathcona and chair of ASA’s Conservation and Precision Agriculture Committee. “The arrival of GPS to farms has been the biggest technical advancement the industry has ever seen. The fact that the FCC would threaten our farmers with such a misguided decision is incomprehensible.”

    ASA also joined leading ag organizations representing farmers across the country this week in support of the Keep GPS Working Coalition, urging a reversal of the FCC’s Ligado decision.

About the Minnesota Soybean Growers Association

    MSGA is a non-partisan, farmer-controlled advocacy organization established in 1962. The organization represents the interests of Minnesota's nearly 28,000 soybean farmers. Its goal is to ensure profitable soybean farming by influencing favorable ag legislation, monitoring government policies and supporting research and market development activities.